KXIP vs KKR, Dinesh Karthik, Ravichandran Ashwin, Indian Premier League, IPL 2019
Kolkata and Punjab are tied with 10 points from 12 matches, but the Dinesh Karthik-led side is placed a rung above Punjab at sixth in the eight-team competition owing to a better net run-rate. @ BCCI

Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders, two teams languishing in the bottom half of the points are in a must-win position when they lock horns in match 52 of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2019) at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium’s IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali on Friday.

Both KKR and KXIP have had an erratic campaign this season, but it’s the two-time champions KKR that probably may have the edge in this contest. Kolkata and Punjab are tied with 10 points from 12 matches, but the Dinesh Karthik-led side is placed a rung above Punjab at sixth in the eight-team competition owing to a better net run-rate.

KKR snapped a six-match losing streak when they defeated Mumbai Indians by 34 runs, while KXIP are on a three-match losing run so far – their recent loss coming against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday. Although KKR ensured they return to winning ways against Mumbai, they need to register victories in their final two games to have a shy at the Playoffs berth. (ALSO READ: IPL 2019 playoffs scenario: CSK reclaim No 1, SRH hope to level with MI)

KXIP, with a negative net run-rate, need no less than a win and they have the home advantage to better their prospects. Come Friday, KKR and KXIP will both be gunning for victories. An exciting contest awaits Mohali!

What: Match 52, Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders

When: May 3 (Friday)

Where: IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali

Time: 8 pm IST

Weather: Sunny skies with a maximum of 37 degrees Celsius

On TV: Star Network (in India)

You can also follow LIVE coverage of the match on CricketCountry (Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders: SCORECARD)

Teams

Kings XI Punjab

Punjab’s batting let them severely in their previous match against SRH with only KL Rahul (520 runs off 12 games) – the second in the runs-scorers’ list – having a good season. Chris Gayle, who has lacked consistency, is fifth in the list with 448 runs. Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran and David Miller will have to shoulder more responsibility in the middle-order for Kings XI. The bowling will largely depend on skipper Ravichandran Ashwin and a better Mohammed Shami. Rahul may be handed the ’keeper’s gloves again with Simran Singh making way for Sarfaraz Khan.

Probable XI: 1. KL Rahul (wk), 2. Chris Gayle, 3. Mayank Agarwal, 4. Nicholas Pooran, 5. David Miller, 6. Sarfaraz Khan/Simran Singh, 7. Ravichandran Ashwin (captain), 8. Murugan Ashwin, 9. Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 10. Arshdeep Singh, 11. Mohammed Shami

Kolkata Knight Riders

Back to winning ways against Mumbai, Kolkata will not want to tinker much with their combination.

Probable XI: 1. Shubman Gill, 2. Chris Lynn, 3. Dinesh Karthik (captain and wk), 4. Andre Russell, 5. Sunil Narine, 6. Robin Uthappa, 7. Nitish Rana, 8. Rinku Singh, 9. Piyush Chawla, 10. Sandeep Warrier, 11. Harry Gurney

Head-to-head record

Number of times played: 24

KXIP wins: 8

KKR wins: 16

No result: 0

Tie: 0

Quotes

“At the end of the day you should make sure your process is right. It might sound cliché, but it’s a high-pressure sport. You have got to make sure everybody is in great space as it’s such a high-octane tournament. You need to stay healthy as a lot of back biting can happen in these types of situations and I am very aware about it.” Dinesh Karthik

“It is pretty straightforward, you have to keep winning at this stage of the IPL. It is quite hard if you are not able to gather those points. We have to keep our chin up and move forward. There is a lot of young energy inside the team.” Ravichandran Ashwin